More than 800 men and women have completed Mission College's Entrepreneurial Training Program, which teaches students with mostly moderate to low incomes how to start a business.
The free class, specially funded by the city, helps students take business ideas and turn them into a viable plan. Participants learn how to license a business, market products or services and interpret tax laws.
Administrators are preparing to start the seventh year of the class, which begins Aug. 18. Registration starts July 6.
Planners of the class said recent graduates took skills they learned and opened accounting firms, a restaurant, a flower shop, child-care facility and a limousine service.
The class is a program offered through the College's One Stop Center, which prepares students, free of charge, for skilled positions in a variety of fields including food service, drafting, electronics, engineering and plumbing.
The center "has proved to be a lifesaver for many people," said Ina Yates, a campus spokeswoman. "A lot of people come there, I've been told, who are absolutely desperate. They find they can make progress.
"To someone who's always done well, it might not seem to be a great thing," Yates said. "It changes their lives. Their whole outlook on life changes from dejection to an outlook of 'I can do something in life.' "
Appointments to register for the next session of the entrepreneurial training class can be made starting July 6 by calling the college's One Stop Center at (818) 837-2236.